It may be hard to believe, but Sorcery has finally arrived. Initially shown-off at E3 in 2010, Sorcery fell off the radar for nearly two years as fledgling studio The Workshop tinkered with it, refining the project over an unusually long development cycle. The result is one of the best PlayStation Move games available. However, it’s also a game that doesn’t quite live up to the hype borne out of the fact that we’ve been talking about it and anticipating it for so long.Sorcery revolves around a teenage boy named Finn, a sorcerer’s apprentice with incredible untapped potential. When his teacher and mentor Dash leaves the mischievous Finn up to his own devices, he steals a magic wand and finds himself thrust into an unusual adventure with his feline friend Erline at his side. Clearly, Sorcery is designed to be accessible for children, but adults will still find the protagonist and his friends endearing. Finn and Erline are likeable, their banter is enjoyable and it’s hard not to care about their fate.
With a decidedly Celtic inspiration, Sorcery’s character and environmental designs can certainly be pretty, but admittedly run the gamut from high quality to utterly boring. Indeed, one of Sorcery’s greatest weaknesses is how bland many of the enemies and locations look. While I found myself impressed with Finn and Erline and while some of the game’s earlier locales look great, many of Sorcery’s enemies are outright uninspired, including the game’s antagonist herself. Vividly-colored environments can pop, but they’re also mostly devoid of personality.
But the real question revolves around how Sorcery plays. Because it requires PlayStation Move, it will no doubt turn many gamers off, even those who absolutely adore PlayStation 3. But ignoring Sorcery because of its motion controls is a mistake, because Sorcery is a lot of fun. Equipped with a Move controller in one hand and either a navigation controller or a standard DualShock controller in the other, players can move Finn around and cast all of the spells at his disposal.
Finn’s spellcasting rests at the heart of Sorcery, and the game does a great job of making you feel progressively stronger. With a simple flick of the wrist, players force Finn to cast his standard Arcane Bolt attack. Doing this in real space is surprisingly enjoyable, and for the most part, directing spells where you want them to go just plain works. Point towards the side of your screen, and the bolt will fly in that direction. Arc your wrist to the side as you hurl a spell and watch the attack curve on the screen, hitting enemies behind cover that appeared impervious to attack.
Combine all of those Arcane Bolt techniques with the elemental spells Finn will learn throughout his adventure, and you’ll find yourself fully equipped with powers that can be used both independently and in tandem with one another. Launching a tornado and then shooting fire into it will create a roving, flame-infested windstorm. Meanwhile, freezing agile enemies with simple ice attacks will stop them from moving, allowing you to briskly switch over to the Arcane Bolt, doing those frozen enemies in with a basic attack.
The permutations that can be created between spells makes combat dynamic, though some spells are admittedly far stronger and more useful than others. I didn’t use my earth-based attacks at all through the entire game, but by the time I learned Finn’s powerful lightning spell, I rarely used anything else. As fun as combat is and as fun as casting these spells can be, there’s an undeniable balance issue as well.
Something that children will likely find far more appealing than adults is the creation of potions. Throughout your adventure, you’ll encounter treasure chests filled with gold and special items. Some of these items can be sold for more gold, but eight item types in particular are used to concoct precious potions that, in turn, upgrade Finn’s many abilities. Whether you want more health, more mana or more powerful spells (and just about anything in between), there’s likely a potion to help you out as long as you have the pertinent supplies. Making these potions over and over again with motion controls becomes cumbersome, but the powerful results of drinking those potions is well worth the monotony.
The major problems with Sorcery, however, are how short it is and how there’s little reason to go back for more. I kicked the difficulty level up in Sorcery from the outset and the game only took me about six hours or so to beat. The game is mostly linear, though there are forks in the road worth exploring that often have treasure at the end of them. But even so, there aren’t alternate outcomes from doing different things, and unless you’re hunting Trophies, one playthrough of Sorcery will be enough for almost anyone.
I liked Sorcery a lot, but the game doesn’t quite rise to the level that many of us expected with such a lengthy development period. The Workshop should be commended for creating one of the best PlayStation Move games, but I think most gamers will question why and how Sorcery took so long to create. With a short adventure, no replay value and no online functionality to speak of, Sorcery is a one-off. A fun one-off, for sure, but a one-off that likely won’t push PlayStation Move controllers off the shelves.
IGN RATINGS FOR SORCERY (PS3)
out of 10
Sorcery takes place in an appealing world. The main characters are, for the most part, endearing, though I wish there was a more compelling villain in place.
A vivid and pretty game that doesn't even remotely take advantage of what the PlayStation 3 is capable of.
The voice actors for Finn, Dash and Erline are all great, and there are some memorable tunes and sound effects, too.
Sorcery is fun to play and works great. Calling-up and casting spells is fluid, and the ability to direct your shots is really cool.
The adventure is pretty short, and there's little reason to go back for more unless you want to hunt down Trophies. A New Game+ would have been nice.
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Thread: Sorcery IGN review
Sorcery IGN review
Last edited by Cuguy; 05-21-2012 at 17:06.
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